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Mexico Starts Daylight Saving Time on April 5, 2009

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Published 18-Feb-2009. Changed 5-Mar-2009

Many parts of Mexico, except Sonora, will begin daylight saving time on Sunday, April 5 in 2009. The clocks will move one hour ahead from 2am (or 02:00) to 3am (or 03:00) local time on this date. Mexico’s daylight saving arrangement starts later and finishes earlier than the United States’ schedule despite close business ties between the two neighboring countries.

However, the Mexican state of Sonora’s time will remain in line with Arizona’s time (except the Navajo Nation community) as both do not observe daylight saving time. Both Arizona and Sonora observe Mountain Standard Time (MST).

sunrise over Sea of Cortez

Many parts of Mexico, except Sonora (landscape pictured above), will observe daylight saving time in 2009.

©iStockphoto.com/Nancy Nehring

Mexico’s Daylight Saving Schedule

Mexico observes a daylight saving schedule that begins at 2am (or 02:00) local time on the first Sunday of April, when the clocks move forward by one hour from 2am (or 02:00) to 3am (or 03:00) local time. There will be a temporary one-hour lag between most of Mexico and most of the United States for nearly one month as the United States enters daylight saving time on Sunday, March 8, in 2009.

The schedule ends on the last Sunday of October, when the clocks move back from 2am (or 02:00) to 1am (or 01:00) local time. Mexico will return to standard time on October 25, 2009. Mexico’s daylight saving schedule ends about one week earlier than the United States, which ends its schedule on the first Sunday of November, which is November 1 in 2009.

There have been recent discussions in Mexico’s parliament to change the daylight saving schedule so that it starts and ends at the same time as the United State’s schedule. The push for this change is happening at a federal government level. timeanddate.com will provide news about this possible change if it becomes official in the future.

Sonora on Standard Time

Sonora stays on MST throughout the year, including when other parts of Mexico turn the clock forward to observe daylight saving time. Sonora has not observed daylight saving time since 1998 mainly due to economic and business ties with its bordering state, Arizona. Both Sonora and Arizona (aside from the Navajo Nation community, which observes daylight saving time) have no immediate plans to observe daylight saving time in the near future.

Mexico’s Time Zones

Mexico observes three different time zones:

  • Central Standard Time (CST), which is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6 hours), applies to most of the country including Mexico City. This region observes Central Daylight Time (CDT), which is UTC-5 hours, during daylight saving time.
  • Mountain Standard Time (MST), or UTC-7 hours, applies to states such as Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Sonora. These areas, except Sonora, shift to Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), which is UTC-6 hours, during daylight saving time.
  • Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is UTC-8 hours, is used in areas such as Tijuana and Baja California.  These areas shift to Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), which is UTC-7 hours, during daylight saving time.

The islands, reefs, and cays that are part of Mexico observe the appropriate time zones allocated to them depending on their geographical location.

According Mexico’s law, changes or suggestions for daylight saving time must be presented to the national congress by November 15, which must then be made official by December 15, in the previous year.

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